Chicago: 11-year-old suspended for turning in non-firing plastic gun toy

Chicago: 11-year-old suspended for turning in non-firing plastic gun toy

CHICAGO, Il.— Criticizing Chicago school officials for being overzealous, misguided and incapable of distinguishing between an
impotent toy and a dangerous weapon, The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of an 11-year-old boy who was suspended from school after he voluntarily turned in a non-firing plastic toy gun that had been forgotten in his jacket pocket. …

Frederick Funston Elementary School introduced a random “pat down” to its security and screening procedures at the beginning of this school year. All students are physically separated from their bags and randomly chosen for a manual “pat down” before going through the metal detectors.  Students’ bags are also separately searched at random. On Friday, January 31, 2014, sixth grader Caden Cook was waiting in the school line to be patted down when he realized that he had mistakenly left in his sweater pocket a toy plastic gun which he had played with the previous night while he was out with friends and family. Realizing his error and that the toy was a prohibited item on school grounds, Caden alerted the security personnel to his predicament, explaining that he had accidentally brought the plastic toy to school and relinquishing the toy to school security personnel. Instead of recognizing that Caden was attempting to do the right thing and acknowledging the mistake, school officials allegedly subjected the 11-year-old to intimidation tactics, interrogation, accusations of lying, and threats. All of this was done in the absence of Caden’s mother and without her having been informed of the incident. Upon her arrival, Caden’s mother was berated and criticized for allowing her son to use toy [guns].

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